Friday’s 7 Happy Things

When something makes me happy on Tuesday or Wednesday, the over-sharing part of my brain makes a tentative list of things that made me smile during the week, so far. Come Friday though, I get cranky and grumpy and who cares about all the good things that happened when I just want to take a nap, right? I still want to take a nap right now but I can’t and I hate everyone so here’s a list of things that made me smile the last few days, even if I’m not smiling at the moment. Also, I didn’t make it to 10 😦

1. Alessia Cara

Her EP is precious and she sounds like young Justin Bieber but smarter. Here is a gem and I feel it so much because I hate hate hate going out these days.

2. Disclosure’s Caracal

Checked it out for Lorde’s Magnets and stayed for Jaded. I love the direction they’re taking with this new album because I was not a fan of their disco/club groove in Settle (2014). Except for Latch. Everybody liked Latch.

3. Miranda July interviewing Rihanna

Looking at her, I was reminded that thousands of people search ‘‘Rihanna’s eyes’’ every year. And there they were: a pair of dizzying hazel-green starbursts. I took another gulp of wine. ‘‘What turns you on?’’

It made a stronger Miranda July and Rihanna fan out of me. Bad gal Riri so precious.

Continue reading “Friday’s 7 Happy Things”


Excitatory Amphigorey

Last weekend was Arch Con X, a now-annual event that was flooded by geeks from Cebu and the nearby islands. No earthquake or aftershock could stop people from flocking over at Ayala Center; the place was packed! A friend and I were exchanging morbid jokes about how every Cebuano geek dies if an earthquake strikes and decimates the mall during the event. Okay, maybe not all but A LOT of nerds will perish – in fancy-shmancy costumes too (or holding a comic book, or an MTG card, or an action figure – whatever floats your nerdy boat.)  I didn’t participate because, *cough cough* I insist that I am not that geeky.

I did manage to land a pic with this lovely lad.

ArchCon Cebu
“Life’s a bowl of cherries and this is the pits.”

More importantly, Saturday found me at Fullybooked’s graphic book and comics sale, an event I gladly participated by buying Amphigorey Again. I really didn’t want to drop by because I am working on my maturity and EQ levels but a little peek won’t hurt, would it? Well, that little peek found me this book which I am proud to say that I resisted – for a while. I mean, I did manage to get past about 20 meters from the store, bought coffee, sat down, mulled things over before getting horrified by the thought of an undeserving man getting this book instead of me (the more deserving reader, obviously).

The five minutes that passed between me seeing this Gorey collection suddenly made me NEED this book, so I snatched it up. My EQ and maturity levels might have crashed but my soul was soaring. This is definitely one of the best books I’ve bought this year.

Amphigorey Again is the fourth collection of Gorey’s previously uncollected works after Amphigorey: Fifteen Books, Amphigorey Too, and Amphigorey Also. All are perfectly awesome books, I am certain, and I need them to be in my collection as well.

There is something uniquely engrossing with Gorey’s works. I was having attention span issues the last few days but Amphigorey Again just got me hook, line and sinker. What a wonderful collection of absurd, morbidly funny, and beautiful stories and illustrations.

Since I don’t have the time (and the attention span) to take good photos of the book right now, here are some phone pictures I instagramm’d the frak out of to tide you over.

I’m definitely a wee bit poorer now but everything is beautiful and nothing hurt.

The Scar’s Armada


So, I am currently  in the middle of China Miéville’s The Scar. It’s Book 2 of the Bas-lag series, which I really wouldn’t call a series because the only thing it shares with Perdido Street Station (Book 1) is the universe it is in – aptly called, well, Bas-lag. This is only my second Miéville. Second! It’s very odd to be so involved with a writer after reading only one of his novels, and probably all of his articles and interviews that I could find online. So we need to remedy that. By reading everything in his bibliography, starting of course, with The Scar.


In Part II of The Scar, we are introduced to a pirate city hauled across the ocean – the city of Armada, a forest of ships. It looks like this:

Armada by Majoh

For someone who’s literary background on anything nautical was mostly, errr naughty historical romances, it was daunting for me to picture a city of ships that sails as a conglomerate. I searched for fanart that would give me an idea of what it would look like and Majoh’s interpretation closely resembles how Miéville describes Armada – it’s less than a mile wide, with conjoined ships of all kinds, and bridges that interconnects this whole piratical web of craziness.

Another fanart of the city during the day:

Armada City by Medhi
Armada City by Medhi

This one looks a lot like Riften – probably my least favorite town in Skyrim because I get lost all time when I need to go to the Thieves headquarters, and because I kept falling from bridges. It is a probable conclusion that I will die if I get press-ganged into Armada. And yes, press-ganged will be the only way I could be there because no city-born would ever spawn someone who keeps falling from bridges.

Here’s another pretty one:

by Franco Brambilla

In spite of all these wonderful Armada interpretations, my favorite is still this beautiful cover of the hardbound copy.

2012-09-03 17.33.30
I want this copy but I’m poor

The cover shows the true grittiness of Miéville’s pirate city – it is dark, alienating, and mysterious. I wish I discovered China’s works earlier so I would’ve had dibs on the hardcovers but oh well. My cover (reprinted UK edition, first picture) is very, VERY pretty too.

The Annotated Hobbit

The Annotated Hobbit

Ola! So I got The Annotated Hobbit Revised and Expanded Edition for Christmas this year. I have a yellowed paperback copy that my dear mother bought for me in high school, but I wanted to get an updated and leveled-up version of the book this year. There are so many beautiful editions out there but this particular one stood out because it’s annotated by the Tolkien scholar Douglas A. Anderson, and it’s not just some annotated version – it’s THE annotated version to get.

Today, I’m sharing with all Tolkien and/or book fans (aren’t all Tolkien fans book fans though?) some notable portions of the book as well as a recommendation of whether or not you should get it, or if this book is for you.

The Annotated Hobbit

    The Annotated Hobbit

Price tag not yet removed because removing properly pasted tags is a definite pain in the ass.

The dust jacket is classy, sophisticated and pretty thoroughly designed.

The Annotated Hobbit

The Annotated Hobbit

Isn’t that shade of yellow gorgeous?

The Annotated Hobbit

This is the hardcover spine. Classy.

And now on to the details…

The Annotated Hobbit

A wonderful portrait of J.R.R. Tolkien across the title page. I love the dwarven runes as details. It looks gorgeous. I’ll check what they mean later.

The Annotated HobbitClose up of the portrait. I really like it. Mr. Elven Linguist looking so fly.

The Annotated Hobbit

Hello, Smaug.

The Annotated Hobbit

The book’s introduction is a pretty thorough biography of J.R.R. Tolkien’s life which includes pictures, such as the one above of his family. It provides a great insight to the background of the man who created Middle-earth and all those wonderful characters from that world.

The Annotated Hobbit

History of The Hobbit – how it came to be and positive critical reception when it first came out in 1937.

The Annotated Hobbit

The first page of The Hobbit: Or There and Back Again. As you can see, the book is arranged neatly in two columns. The outer columns contain the annotations which are pretty thorough. They’re not your usual annotations/footnotes. These are really detailed explanations of parts of a book from a real gentleman and scholar.

As you can see, the opening line “In a hole in a ground there lived a hobbit.”, has an annotation that is far longer than the sentence. It’s thorough like you wouldn’t believe.

The Annotated Hobbit

Another example page of annotations. One thing this book doesn’t lack is drawings! Drawings everywhere! There are illustrations of The Hobbit characters from all of the world – some of them pretty hilarious as they don’t resemble Tolkien’s versions of what his characters look like at all. Regardless though, all of them are charming.

One of my favorite parts of the book are in the three photos below. Colored drawings and scanned papers of wonderful Middle-earth settings, maps, and a dust jacket. Most of these are drawn by the Man himself.

The Annotated Hobbit The Annotated Hobbit The Annotated Hobbit

This book is absolutely gorgeous and if you like gorgeous books on your shelf, I highly recommend this. The dimensions are 9.3 x 8 x 1.1 inches, and about 2 lbs in shipping weight (as per Amazon), in case you are obsessive about sizes of books like some people I know.

Do I recommend this for Tolkien fans? Definitely. This is the annotated version to get because it’s amazing and awe-inspiring and filled to the brim with information not just about The Hobbit but also about the LOTR trilogy. Douglas A. Anderson is as thorough as he is smart. He’s also a big Tolkien fanboy so our precioussss is perfectly safe in his scholarly hands. If you love Middle-earth, this is a must-have.

Do I recommend this for general readers? I’m not sure! This book is not for everyone – the notes can be overwhelming most especially for people who don’t or don’t want to care. If you just want to read The Hobbit, there are so many other cheaper and simpler editions out there that are just as beautiful (or even far prettier) than this one. I suggest you take a look at different editions first before you decide.

I got this book for Php1,199 at Fullybooked Ayala Center Cebu. This is the last copy from that branch but I know that they can ship copies from other branches if you insist. It’s also available in Amazon for $18.28 or Php750+shipping.